Okay, let’s start with the humor. Get a grip folks, this is not a flattering name for a dessert, no matter how you look at it. For me, it evokes the upper arm of an older mother or aunt where the skin is kinda soft and pulpy and clearly has never seen the inside of a gym. If the arms are held high to clap, the skin hanging below the bone flaps, and if really bad, could act as small sails in a strong wind. Hello, how unappetizing a vision is that? :) And why is this gender specific? Couldn’t this just as amusingly be named Hita ni Ramon, Procopio or Sebastian? Just make the roll bigger. Hahaha. As a kid, I disliked Brazo de Mercedes with a passion. I distinctly recall eating a badly made one where the eggwhitey outer layer smelled and tasted seriously eggy, and like a bad egg at that. Then there was the oozy rich yema-ish filling. Uugghh. But my mom loved this dessert and could easily eat a whole one (have you noticed how bloody long Mercedes’ brazo must have been?) in a day, if left to her own devices. She was friends with a Spanish lady (whose name I don’t recall, but it wasn’t Mercedes, Volkswagen or Jaguar), who owned a nearby bakery, and that is where she got her brazo. I forgot about this dessert for a good 30 years until I started this blog, at which point readers have repeatedly hounded me for a version. Well, let me cut speculation right here…I don’t think I will ever bake one, but now I will certainly order one from one of several terrific sources in town…
My mom passed away 11 years ago yesterday… and while she only met The Kid twice as a teeny tiny baby, she obviously passed on her love for Brazo de Mercedes, by mental telepathy to The Kid… Out of the blue, since we don’t normally have this dessert at home, in fact, never, The Kid states she just LOVES Brazo de Mercedes and she has been secretely getting her fill at a classmate’s home. So at the Pink Kitchen event last weekend, we were thrilled to come across Pixie Sevilla-Santos’ Forget Me Not stall and The Kid bought half a brazo to take home. I understand the Camara frozen brazo was also for sale in the same venue (I have tasted this at an eyeball before, yum) and the Vargas stall also had their version. At any rate, I was willing to re-try this childhood psychological nightmare to see if I could see it in a new light…
Well, I must say, Pixie’s Brazo (called Brazo de Remedios) was very, very good. There was absolutely no eggy taste to the egg white portion and the filling of egg yolks and sugar were not sickeningly sweet. I quite liked this version and The Kid loved it. She even sprinkled it with more sugar to get a sweeter fix. It’s great to know that I can actually enjoy this dessert now with a cup of hot tea and while I personally don’t see it becoming my favorite, I can see why so many people do like it.
Forget Me Not Specialty Cakes